Do your students have the time management skills they need in order to succeed in college?

Recently we asked Engaging Minds readers: “How many of your students demonstrate good time management skills?” Here’s how they responded:

Do students have good time management skills?

As you can see above, the majority responded that some (41%) or only a few (37%) of their students were well versed in the ability to manage their time well. We’re guessing that many of these students aim for academic success and do well in their courses… but, they could still benefit from additional skills that will enable them to increase their effectiveness and create more of a balance in their lives.

If, like the above respondents, you’d like to see your students improve the way they manage their time, you may want to provide them with suggestions that will help them get on track. Over the coming weeks, we’ll share some strategies that will help them develop their time management skills. We’ll start today with some tips that will help them find a helpful online time-management tool.

Helping students find the time management tool that works for them

If students are hoping to improve the way they use and prioritize their time, they may find the help they need by means of a time management tool. Printed calendars, journals, and to-do lists can be a help, but there are also a seemingly endless supply of tools available electronically. You can access some of these from your desktop, laptop, or tablet; others can be downloaded to your smartphone or used on other digital devices. Many of these will sync with one another, ensuring virtual “anytime, anywhere” access to the tools and information you need to stay on track.

Despite (or perhaps because of) all these options, it’s not always easy to choose the tool that best suits your needs. The following exercise, excerpted from Gwenn Wilson’s 100% Student Success, Third Edition, will help students find a variety of these tools, and then choose the one that could best work for them.

Goal: To research time management tools offered online.

Step 1: Conduct an Internet search using “electronic time management tools” as your search term. Explore the types of tools that are available.

Step 2: Explore the time management tools that you find as a result of your search. Assess and compare the benefits and shortcomings of each based on your personal needs and preferences. Make a decision regarding which would best support your time management efforts.

Step 3: Write a brief report on your evaluation. Explain and give reasons for your choice of tools. Be prepared to share this information with your classmates. (Wilson, 14)

Of course, in order for a time management tool to be effective, it must be used. But, by taking these steps to evaluate and identify a tool that suits their individual preferences and lifestyles, students will be more likely to make use of the solution… and see results.

What time management tools do you use? Which ones have proven especially effective for your students? Share your ideas in the comments.

Reference: Wilson, Gwenn. 2015. 100% Student Success, 3rd ed.. Boston: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

© Cengage Learning.